Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set toopen higher on Thursday as investors awaited a flurry of U.S.macroeconomic data including initial and continuing claims,producer price and manufacturing index numbers.
* The fragile global economic recovery took a step backwardsthis month as businesses across the euro zone and China's vastfactory sector grew at a milder pace, business surveys showed.
* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the U.S. andeuro zone economies are gaining strength, seeking to dispelconcerns among other policymakers that Japan's export engine andbroader recovery were vulnerable to weakness overseas.
* Gildan Activewear reported a 9 percent rise infourth-quarter profit, helped by lower cotton prices and highersales in its printwear business.
* Sears Holdings Corp, which operates its eponymousdepartment stores and the Kmart discount chain, reported a widerquarterly net loss as sales fell at both chains and it investedin more promotions targeting rewards members.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.18 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were uparound 0.15 percent to 0.28 percent
* European shares, were mixed
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 274.0452;rose 0.07 percent
* Gold futures : $1,247.1; fell 0.86 percent
* US crude : $94.08; rose 0.25 percent
* Brent crude : $108.36; rose 0.28 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,985.5; fell 0.15 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Niko Resources Ltd : The oil and gas producer saidCEO Ed Sampson will retire at the end of the calendar year andwill be replaced by Frederic Brace on an interim basis from Jan.1.
* Oncolytics Biotech Inc : The company said its leadcancer drug improved survival rates in patients withhead-and-neck cancer, compared to those receiving chemotherapyalone. [ID: nL4N0J62NJ]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadiancompanies reported by Reuters.
* Agrium Inc : Raymond James starts with outperformrating, says the company's unique business mix affords it asuperior 2-year earnings growth profile.
* Davis + Henderson Corp : CIBC raises price targetto C$31 from C$27, says the company will be firing on allcylinders in executing on its fin tech strategy.
* Niko Resources Ltd : Canaccord Genuity cuts targetprice to C$1.50 from C$4 as the company announced the retirementof CEO Ed Sampson.
ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes PMI, PPI, initialclaims and continuing claims
- Company Earnings